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9 September 2011

Diaspora tips hat to Facebook and Google+

Tim Gibbon, director Elemental By Tim Gibbon

Diaspora sent a refreshingly unashamed email yesterday (I received mine on Thursday evening) updating users that signed up to use its service with a few things they've been up to, tipping its hat to Facebook and Google+.Screenshot of Diaspora homepage

In case you aren't aware, Diaspora likes to be referred to as a distributed social web company, not a social network and is currently in development (it's in alpha), allowing users to share information. The project created by four NYU students (Daniel Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer and Ilya Zhitomirskiy) started to attract attention, funding and donations (including Facebook's Founder Mark Zuckerberg reported Mashable via Kickstarter) back in October 2010.  With a funding total that stands at $200,641 (USD) today, it will be interesting to see how the media gets the its head around how it likes to be referred to as, because we've all seen how these firms can be pigeonholed.

Diaspora founders proudly state however, that it does allow users to network with a greater emphasis on how information is shared, with whom, with what it claims to be better and easier way to manage privacy.  From the site you can glean that connections can be sorted in groups that they call aspects, which is where the tipping of the hat comes into play.  With Google recently kicking off Google+ with a better way of users to manage their relationships with other users via Circles (and privacy of course) and Facebook's recent attempt to refine its woeful privacy settings and practice - it could be argued that Diaspora made them both and perhaps others think about how users prefer to communicate - again.

We've not heard much from Diaspora in a while, but was certainly worth the wait.  The letter tells us alpha invitations are being sent out now, and states if you haven't received yours yet, then you should by the end of this October.  With other things a foot, Diaspora say that we'll know more about the what's to come with the teaser from them below. 

"We'll make the social web more fun than it is today:

  • Our distributed design gives you the security of owning your own identity and data.
  • This also gives you the freedom to do what you want online.
  • Our ecosystem provides the commons, the connective tissue for an evolving social web.
  • We're not gatekeepers, so our ecosystem will always support the latest apps."

Check out the email from the Diaspora team below (it's a screenshot) or on their blog, it certainly raised a smile here, but also highlighted that there may also be room in the social networking space for more than one leader/s. It's a project to keep an eye on and there will plenty of watchers looking forward to seeing what this company has to offer and how it goes about it, including us.  Get on idea of its journey so far at Mashable.

If you haven't signed up to receive an invitation, you can at Diaspora. And, you can follow them via Twitter and on Kickstarter to have a nose at some of the stuff you may not see elsewhere. If you're one of the very lucky few new users (ahem, very Google-like), please do let us know what you think.

Email from Disspora team 

Categories: Technology, Social media, News

Tags: Diaspora, Facebook, Google+, Google, social network, social media, social communities, communities, social web, distributed social web

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